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Kremlin says West is to blame for Ukraine grain crisis

Newsdeck

Ukraine war

Kremlin says West is to blame for Ukraine grain crisis

A farmer works on a field near Lviv, Ukraine, 09 May 2022. Ukrainian President Zelensky discussed the blockade of the export of Ukrainian grain by Russia during his video meeting with European Council President Michel who visited in the south Ukrainian port city of Odesa. On 24 February, Russian troops had entered Ukrainian territory in what the Russian president declared a 'special military operation', resulting in fighting and destruction in the country and fears of shortages in energy and food products globally. EPA-EFE/MYKOLA TYS
By Reuters
26 May 2022 2

LONDON, May 26 (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Thursday said the West only had itself to blame for a brewing food crisis due to problems getting Ukraine's grain out to world markets, demanding the United States and its allies scrap what it cast as illegal sanctions.

 – The Kremlin on Thursday said the West only had itself to blame for a brewing food crisis due to problems getting Ukraine’s grain out to world markets, demanding the United States and its allies scrap what it cast as illegal sanctions.

Besides the death and devastation sown by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the war and the West’s attempt to isolate Russia as punishment have sent the price of grain, cooking oil, fertiliser and energy soaring, hurting global growth.

The United Nations, which says a global food crisis is deepening, is trying to broker a deal to unblock Ukraine’s grain exports though Western leaders have blamed Russia for holding the world to ransom by blockading Ukrainian ports.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected those accusations and said the West was to blame for the situation.

“We categorically reject these accusations and, on the contrary, accuse Western countries that they have taken a number of illegal actions that led to this,” Peskov told reporters.

“They (the West) must cancel those illegal decisions that prevent the chartering of ships, that prevent the export of grain, and so on” so that supplies can resume, Peskov said.

Russia has captured some of Ukraine’s biggest seaports and its navy controls major transport routes in the Black Sea, where extensive mining has made commercial shipping dangerous. Sanctions have also made it hard for Russian exporters to access vessels to move commodities to global markets.

Russia and Ukraine together account for nearly a third of global wheat supplies. Chicago wheat futures Wv1 hit a record price in March on supply concerns, and are still up by 30% since Feb. 24.

Ukraine is also a major exporter of corn, barley, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil, while Russia and Belarus – which has backed Moscow in the war and is also under sanctions – account for over 40% of global exports of the crop nutrient potash.

Time is running out to get some 22 million tonnes of grain out of Ukraine ahead of the new harvest as Russia continues to blockade the country’s Black Sea ports, Ukrainian lawmaker Yevheniia Kravchuk said on Wednesday.

“We have about maybe a month and a half before we start to collect the new harvest,” she told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos, adding there was not sufficient space to store the fresh harvest.

Ukraine has lost the ports of Kherson and Mariupol to Russian occupation, and fears Russia may try to seize a third, Odesa.

The Kremlin says Ukraine had made commercial shipping impossible by mining its waters.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen is among those who have accused Moscow of using food exports as a weapon, while Kyiv has said Russia has stolen hundreds of thousands of tonnes of grain in areas their forces have occupied.

“Putin is trying to hold the world to ransom, and he is essentially weaponising hunger and lack of food amongst the poorest people around the world,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said during a visit to Bosnia on Thursday.

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Frank Jack Daniel)

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  • I have no choice but to accept the fact that Putin has lost his mind. However, what saddens me is the German Chancellor did clearly not read Ramaphasa the riot act. So our currupt president who threats black lives in our country such with contempt and clearly more focused on the financial benifits he and his cadres can get from Putin still gets an easy ride from the Germans.

  • The west is reacting to a Russian plan that is probably the worlds longest chess match – one that the West did not even know they were playing (where was Bobby Fischer🤔) – it started when Gorbachev in the view of nationalists sold out and handed over East Germany. Putin on 1996, like Zuma, was handed the keys to power when assigned to gather intelligence that, also like Zuma, he weaponised for his own benefit.
    The pawns of this game are now the worlds poor and the Ukrainians (that the West disarmed) that are being fed just enough to keep draining Russia’s resources and praying for a peoples revolt as the death of their sons pile up. Cynical …. maybe?

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